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Traffik is a 1989 British television serial about the illegal drugs trade. Its three stories are interwoven, with arcs told from the perspectives of Afghan and Pakistani growers, dealers and manufacturers, German dealers, and British users. It was nominated for six BAFTA Awards, winning three. It also won an International Emmy Award for best drama.
The 2000 crime drama film Traffic, directed by Steven Soderbergh, was based on this television serial. In turn, the 2004 American television miniseries Traffic was based on both versions.
The 1989 six-part serial was produced by Britain's Channel 4, written by Simon Moore and directed by Alastair Reid. In the United States, it was first aired on Masterpiece Theatre in 1990.
The film starred:
- Bill Paterson as Jack Lithgow, a Scottish Home Office minister in the United Kingdom government engaged in combating heroin importation from Pakistan.
- Julia Ormond as his drug addicted daughter Caroline.
- George Kukura as Karl Rosshalde, a German drug smuggler.
- Lindsay Duncan as Rosshalde's English wife Helen.
- Fritz Müller-Scherz and Tilo Prückner as the German detectives attempting to bring down Rosshalde with the help of informer Jacques Ledesert (Peter Lakenmacher)
- Jamal Shah as Pakistani opium poppy grower Fazal, who is evicted from his land as a result of policies encouraged by the British government.
- Talat Hussain as Pakistani drug lord Tariq Butt, the supplier of Rosshalde's European heroin network.